Isaiah 18; Isaiah 19; Isaiah 20; Isaiah 21; Isaiah 22

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Isaiah 18

1 How terrible it will be for the land whose armies are like large numbers of flying insects! That land is along the rivers of Cush.
2 Its people send messengers on the Nile River. They travel over the water in papyrus boats. Messengers, hurry back home! Go back to your people, who are tall and have smooth skin. Everyone is afraid of them. They are warriors. Their language is different from ours. Their land is divided up by rivers.
3 Pay attention, all you people of the world! Listen, all you who live on earth! Banners will be lifted up on the mountains. And you will see them. Trumpets will be blown. And you will hear them.
4 The LORD says to me, "I will look down from heaven, where I live. I will be as quiet as summer heat in the sunshine. I will be as quiet as a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest."
5 A farmer cuts off new growth with pruning knives. He cuts down spreading branches and takes them away. He does it before the grapes are harvested. That's when the blooms are gone and the grapes are ripe. In the same way, the LORD will cut off the nations that are gathered against his people.
6 Their dead bodies will be left for the birds of the mountains to eat. They will be left for the wild animals. The birds will eat the dead bodies all summer long. The wild animals will eat them all through the winter.
7 At that time gifts will be brought to the LORD who rules over all. The people who are tall and have smooth skin will bring them. Everyone is afraid of those people. They are warriors. Their language is different from ours. Their land is divided up by rivers. They will bring their gifts to Mount Zion. That's where the LORD who rules over all has put his Name.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Isaiah 19

1 Here is a message the LORD gave me about Egypt. The LORD is coming to Egypt. He's riding on a cloud that moves very fast. The statues of the gods in Egypt tremble with fear because of him. The hearts of the people there melt away inside them.
2 The LORD says, "I will stir up one Egyptian against another. Relatives will fight against relatives. Neighbors will fight against one another. Cities will fight against cities. Kingdoms will fight against one another.
3 The people of Egypt will lose hope. I will keep them from doing what they plan to do. They will ask their gods for advice. They will turn to the spirits of dead people for help. They will go to people who get messages from those who have died. They will ask for advice from people who talk to the spirits of the dead.
4 I will hand the Egyptians over to a mean and unkind master. A powerful king will rule over them," announces the Lord. He is the LORD who rules over all.
5 The waters of the Nile River will dry up. The bottom of it will be cracked and dry.
6 Its waterways will stink. And the streams of Egypt will get smaller and smaller until they dry up. The tall grass that grows along the river will dry up.
7 So will the plants along the banks of the Nile. Even the planted fields along the Nile will dry up. Everything that grows there will blow away and disappear.
8 The fishermen will moan. All those who drop hooks into the Nile will sob. Those who throw their nets on the water will become very sad.
9 Those who make clothes out of flax will lose hope. So will those who weave fine linen.
10 Those who work with cloth will be unhappy. And all those who work for money will be sick at heart.
11 The officials of the city of Zoan are very foolish. Pharaoh's wise men give advice that doesn't make any sense. How can they dare to say to Pharaoh, "We're among the wise men"? How can they say to him, "We're like the advisers to the kings of long ago"?
12 Pharaoh, where are your wise men now? Let them tell you what the LORD who rules over all has planned against Egypt.
13 The officials of Zoan have become foolish. The leaders of Memphis have been lied to. The most important leaders in Egypt have led its people down the wrong path.
14 The LORD has given them a spirit that makes them feel dizzy. They make Egypt unsteady in everything it does. Egypt is like a person who drinks too much. He throws up and then walks around in the mess he's made.
15 No one in Egypt can do anything to help them. Its elders and important leaders can't help them. Its prophets and priests can't do anything. Those who rule over others can't help. And those who bow down to them can't help either.
16 In days to come, the people of Egypt will be as terrified as women. The LORD who rules over all will raise his hand against them. Then they will tremble with fear.
17 The people of Judah will bring terror to the Egyptians. Everyone in Egypt who hears the name of Judah will be terrified. That's because of what the LORD who rules over all is planning to do to them.
18 At that time the people of five cities in Egypt will use the Hebrew language when they worship the LORD who rules over all. They will take an oath. And they will promise to be faithful to him. One of those cities is called The City of the Sun.
19 At that time there will be an altar to the LORD in the middle of Egypt. There will be a monument to him at its border.
20 They will remind people that the LORD who rules over all is worshiped in Egypt. The people there will cry out to the LORD because of those who treat them badly. He will send someone to stand up for them and save them. And he will set them free.
21 So the LORD will make himself known to the people of Egypt. At that time they will recognize that he is the Lord. They will worship him by bringing sacrifices and grain offerings to him. They will make promises to the Lord. And they will keep them.
22 The LORD will strike Egypt with a plague. But then he will heal them. They will turn to the Lord. And he will answer their prayers and heal them.
23 At that time there will be a wide road from Egypt to Assyria. The people of Assyria will go to Egypt. And the people of Egypt will go to Assyria. The people of Egypt and Assyria will worship the LORD together.
24 At that time Egypt, Assyria and Israel will be a blessing to the whole earth.
25 The LORD who rules over all will bless those three nations. He will say, "Let the Egyptians be blessed. They are my people. Let the Assyrians be blessed. My hands created them. And let the Israelites be blessed. They are my very own people."
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Isaiah 20

1 Sargon sent his highest commander to the city of Ashdod. He attacked it and captured it. Sargon was king of Assyria.
2 Three years earlier the LORD had spoken to me. He had said, "Take off the black clothes you are wearing. And take your sandals off." So I did. I went around barefoot. I didn't have anything on but my underwear.
3 After Ashdod was captured, the LORD said, "My servant Isaiah has gone around barefoot for three years. He has not worn anything but his underwear. He is a sign and reminder to Egypt and Cush about what will happen to them.
4 "The king of Assyria will lead prisoners away from Egypt and Cush. Young people and old people alike will be taken away. Like Isaiah, they will be barefoot. They will not be wearing anything but their underwear. And their backsides will be bare. So the Egyptians will be put to shame.
5 "People trusted in Cush to help them. They bragged about what Egypt could do for them. But they will be afraid and put to shame.
6 At that time the people who live on the coast of Philistia will speak up. They will say, 'See what has happened to those we depended on! We ran to them for help. We wanted them to save us from the king of Assyria. Now how can we escape?' "
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Isaiah 21

1 Here is a message the LORD gave me about Babylonia. It is known as the Desert by the Two Rivers. An attack is coming through the desert. It is coming from a land of terror. It's sweeping along like a windstorm blowing across the Negev Desert.
2 I have seen a vision about something terrible that will happen. People are turning against Babylon. Robbers are taking its goods. Elamites, attack the city! Medes, surround it! The LORD will put an end to all of the suffering Babylon has caused.
3 The vision fills my body with pain. Pains take hold of me. They are like the pains of a woman having a baby. I am shaken by what I hear. I'm terrified by what I see.
4 My heart grows weak. Fear makes me tremble. I longed for evening to come. But it brought me horror instead of rest.
5 In my vision the Babylonians set the tables. They spread the rugs out. They eat. They drink. Get up, you officers! Rub your shields with oil!
6 The Lord said to me, "Go. Put a guard on duty on Jerusalem's walls. Have him report what he sees.
7 Tell him to watch for chariots that are pulled by teams of horses. Tell him to watch for men riding on donkeys or camels. Make sure he stays awake. Make sure he stays wide awake."
8 "My master!" the guard shouts back. "Day after day I stand here on the lookout tower. Every night I stay here on duty.
9 Look! Here comes a man in a chariot! It's being pulled by a team of horses. He's calling out the news, 'Babylon has fallen! It has fallen! All of the statues of its gods lie broken in pieces on the ground!' "
10 My people, you have been crushed like grain on a threshing floor. But now I'm telling you the good news I've heard. It comes from the LORD who rules over all. He is the God of Israel.
11 Here is a message the LORD gave me about Edom. Someone is calling out to me from the land of Seir. He says, "Guard, when will the night be over? Guard, how soon will it end?"
12 The guard answers, "Morning is coming. But the night will return. If you want to ask again, come back and ask."
13 Here is a message the LORD gave me about Arabia. He told me to give orders to traders from Dedan. They were camping in the bushes of Arabia.
14 I told them to bring water for those who are thirsty. I also gave orders to those who live in Tema. I told them to bring food for those who are running away.
15 They are running away from where the fighting is heaviest. That's where the swords are ready to strike. That's where the bows are ready to shoot.
16 The Lord says to me, "In exactly one year, Kedar's grand show of power will come to an end.
17 Only a few of Kedar's soldiers who shoot arrows will be left alive." The LORD has spoken. He is the God of Israel.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Isaiah 22

1 Here is a message the LORD gave me about the Valley of Vision. People of Jerusalem, what's the matter with you? Why have all of you gone up on the roofs of your houses?
2 Why is your town so full of noise? Why is your city so full of the sound of wild parties? Those among you who died weren't killed with swords. They didn't die in battle.
3 All of your leaders have run away. They've been captured without a single arrow being shot. All those who were caught were taken away as prisoners. They ran off while your enemies were still far away.
4 So I said, "Leave me alone. Let me sob bitter tears. Don't try to comfort me. My people have been destroyed."
5 The LORD who rules over all sent the noise of battle against you. The Lord brought disorder and terror to the Valley of Vision. The walls of the city were knocked down. Cries for help were heard in the mountains.
6 Soldiers from Elam came armed with bows and arrows. They came with their chariots and horses. Soldiers from Kir got their shields ready.
7 Your rich valleys filled up with chariots. Horsemen took up their battle positions at your city gates.
8 Judah wasn't a safe place to live in anymore. When all of that happened, you depended on the weapons in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon.
9 You saw that the City of David had many holes in its walls. They needed to be repaired. You stored up water in the Lower Pool.
10 You picked out the weaker buildings in Jerusalem. You tore them down and used their stones to strengthen the city walls against attack.
11 You built a pool between the two walls. You used it to save the water that was running down from the Old Pool. But you didn't look to the One who made it all possible. You didn't pay any attention to the One who planned everything long ago.
12 The LORD who rules over all called out to you at that time. The Lord told you to sob and cry. He told you to tear your hair out. And he told you to put black clothes on.
13 Instead, you are enjoying yourselves at wild parties! You are killing cattle and sheep. You are eating their meat and drinking wine. You are saying, "Let's eat and drink, because tomorrow we'll die."
14 I heard the LORD who rules over all speaking. "Your sin can never be paid for as long as you people live," says the Lord.
15 The LORD who rules over all speaks. The Lord says, "Go. Speak to the head servant Shebna. He is in charge of the palace. Tell him,
16 'What are you doing here outside the city? Who allowed you to cut out a tomb for yourself here? Who said you could carve out your grave on the hillside? Who allowed you to cut out your resting place in the rock?
17 " 'Watch out, you mighty man! The LORD is about to grab hold of you. He is about to throw you away.
18 He will roll you up tightly like a ball. He will throw you into a very large country. There you will die. And there the chariots you are so proud of will remain. You bring shame on your master's family!
19 The LORD will remove you from your job. You will be brought down from your high position.
20 " 'At that time he will send for his servant Eliakim. He is the son of Hilkiah.
21 The LORD will put your robe on Eliakim. He will tie your belt around him. He will hand your authority over to him. Eliakim will be like a father to the people of Jerusalem and Judah.
22 " 'The LORD will give Eliakim the key of authority in David's royal house. No one can shut what he opens. And no one can open what he shuts.
23 The LORD will set him firmly in place like a peg that is driven into a wall. He will hold a position of honor in his family.
24 The good name of his whole family will depend on him. They will be like bowls and jars hanging on a peg.
25 " 'But a new day is coming,' " announces the LORD who rules over all. " 'At that time the peg that was driven into the wall will give way. It will break off and fall down. And the heavy load hanging on it will also fall.' " The LORD has spoken.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.